New Wine Ministries: A new standard of praise

By Staff
INNOVATIVE MINISTRY Terrence Roberts sits in the chapel of Clark Memorial Chapel, where Sunday services are held for New Wine Ministries. Roberts is pastor and ministry developer of the Christian-grounded denomination known for its non-traditional format. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Ida Brown / religion editor
Nov. 16, 2002
Meridian pastor Terrence Roberts is accustomed to hearing comparisons to his ministry.
And while New Wine Ministries' non-traditional format may seem unique, the Christian-grounded denomination of which Roberts is pastor and ministry developer is not unlike most local faith-based entities.
New Wine Ministries evolved from a weekly Bible study group.
He and his wife, Terry, began holding Bible study at their home. As attendance increased, the format and location changed from a study group meeting at the park of a local housing complex to a weekly ministry held at a Meridian business.
Leap of faith
Earlier this year, the group realized a need to further develop the ministry.
Described as a blend of urban cultures, New Wine Ministries is becoming a new standard of praise for people who thirst for the living water, Roberts said.
The ministry's name is taken from Matthew 9:17, which reads: "Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved."
Instead of choirs, there is video and a disc jockey. The music is message music from popular recording artists, such as Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin. Humor is an integral part of the services. And on any given Sunday, a dance troupe may perform or a drama team may present a skit to illustrate passages in the Bible or to demonstrate life lessons.
Instead of a sermon, a 15-minute conversational message is presented. There is no dress code and attendance is open to all.
Open to all
Joseph Johnson, 19, believes New Wine Ministries is helping to break down racial barriers locally.
Dave Hicks, 17, who also attends First Baptist, especially enjoys the church's format.
Membership at New Wine Ministries continues to grow, especially with the addition of Sunday services. Plans now are to organize a small group network to address community needs. The network will organize home-based Bible study groups for single mothers, men and youth.